Two special dinners this week highlight the range of local chefs’ interests and ambitions. Thursday, Nov. 2, Varanese, 2106 Frankfort Ave., will host its second annual Pork and Pinot dinner, pairing wines from around the world made from the pinot noir grape and dishes made with the multifarious possibilities of the meat from happy hogs. Sunday, Nov. 5, Sullivan University’s A Tale of Five Courses pop-up dinner organized by Chef James Moran pays tribute to Creole-Cajun cuisine, the dishes that inspired him to pursue his culinary degree.

The Pork and Pinot dinner at Varanese will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m., with dinner served at 7. Guest speaker Antoinette Oldham, from Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits, will lead a discussion of the ways the pinot noir grape manifests its qualities in different parts of the world.

The menu:

Michelle Brut Rosé, Columbia Valley, Washington State, paired with bacon stuffed oysters on the half shell with a basil and black pepper aioli; Ritual Pinot Noir, from Casablanca Valley, Chile served with slow-roasted pork and chili tamale with pickled blueberries; Siduri Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands, California paired with pork rillette on grilled baguette with frisée salad and crispy pig ears; Domaine Bertagna, Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Nuits paired with pancetta and wild mushroom carbonara, shaved aged Parmesan and a fresh egg yolk; Etude Pinot Noir, Grace Benoist Ranch, Carneros served with slow roasted porchetta stuffed with butternut squash; and for dessert Matua Pinot Noir Rose, Marlborough, New Zealand paired with

house-cured prosciutto, lonza and coppa with Kenny’s Bleu Cheese, Port Salute and Drunken Goat Cheese with honey comb and fresh strawberries.

The dinner and wine pairings will be $65. There will also be a food-only option for those not looking to drink, but eager to dine on pork dishes. Call (502) 899-9904.

At Sullivan University, 3101 Bardstown Rd. chef James Moran will host a Creole-Cajun themed dinner for the third installment of A Tale of Five Courses, the monthly pop-up dinner series that he has inaugurated in the former Winston’s dining space. Sunday, Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m.

A Tale of Five Courses November menu:

Kale salad with corn, red pepper, cauliflower, fingerling potato, remoulade and bacon jalapeno cornbread; shrimp and smoked Cheddar Wiesenberger grits; cornmeal-crusted blackened red fish with dirty rice; gumbo with duck confit, grilled andouille sausage, jumbo lump crab and crispy pickled okra; and for dessert bananas Foster bread pudding with goat cheese ice cream and oatmeal pecan praline.

The dinner will be $70 or $80 with with wine pairings. Go to for reservations.